Another couple of outings with success and great pictures

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Another couple of outings with success and great pictures

Postby SMAbby » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:20 pm

Tuesdays seem to be the day that my buddy and I can get together to hunt. The last time we hunted this flooded corn field, we had just arrived before some other trucks. SO this time I though we should leave an hour earlier.
Now for me that is not an issue. But Denise has to drive to my house, about 2 hours away, and then we load my truck just to drive another hour. So, her wake up call was 1:30 am. Although I told her that in a show solidarity I too would wake up at 1:30 am, I ended up sleeping until 2:30 am. :D

Well as it always happens, when we got there no one was around.........and that is how it would remain until we left. It was like all the pros knew something that we did not. But not to be detoured, we hung in there. first light/shooting hours brought in a screaming group of mallards. I was able to drop a nice drake. Little did I know how dangerous duck hunting could be as the wing shot drake landed 2 feet from me! Although Baja has little duck experience, she was on him pretty quickly as he waddled toward safe cover. She made a very nice retrieve.
Shortly after that, we had another flock dump in. This time I took a hen that splashed down in the cold water. Denise took a couple of shots. I thought she tickled one, but it continued on with the rest of the flock. I seriously think she is out matched with a 20 gauge. I know this because when we train together, she is the dead eye, not me.
We had one more flock come in, she took her shots and I tried, but my gun jammed? So, they safely sailed off to the refuge. That would pretty much be it for us. We would have small flocks circle us several time, but it was as if they knew just how far to stay away. ALl we could do was watch.
We sat there watching HUNDREDS of ducks dump into the refuge over the tree line. OH the frustration. SO, at about 10am we packed it up. As we picked up the last decoy, wouldnt you know a flock would buzz our tower!!! Dam ducks! :lol: :lol:

A quick wardrobe change at the truck and we were ready to meet up with a couple of other friends and hunt for roosters.
I am getting to the point in my life that at the most I want to hunt with 2 people. I was quickly reminded of this when we all 4 and 4 dogs got together and started to hunt. We were in 8ft tall stick grass. You couldnt see the next person if they reached out and touched you. Dogs were everywhere BUT in front of you. I was quickly stressed.
Probably 3 minutes in, my Garmin began to sing and Max was on point. Now the challenge was to get to him in the tall cover 80 yards away(he was hunting in front of another hunter). Just as I got 20 yards from him, I here the tell tell laugh of a rooster that just outwitted you and your dog. GRRRRRRRR.
Onward we went. We walked until we hit this canal. This was going to be my out. As Denise and the other to walked down the steep bank and emerged on the other side. I stayed on this side. I just told them I couldnt make the climb. :twisted:
So, with Max and I on our own, I started to relax. I didnt have to worry about him being 1000 yards away with another hunter or wonder if I can take a shot because I cant see anyone.
About 10 minutes into our walk, Max goes on point. As I eased up to him, he was crouched and intense. I was surprised that nothing had erupted with my approach. I walked further ahead and still nothing. I looked at Max wondering if he was screwing with me. He was still intense, but locked eyes with me as if to say, its right here dummy. I was still skeptical because how often can you really walk in front of your dogs point with out the spooky roosters busting out.....with this in my head I took a small sidestep and with that, the more than patient rooster erupted.
Now, it isnt often that when this happens that I am suddenly captivated by the pure beauty of the animal. Most of the time it is the knee jerk reaction of just shooting. But when this bird rose he made a sharp right hand turn so that he was totally flared. I could see every feather spread wide open and with the sun to my back, the amount of colors bouncing off of him reminded me of the finale at a fireworks show! It was something that will stick with me forever.........then I shot him! :lol: :lol: :twisted: Max was quick with the retrieve and I was on the board with my first 2017 rooster.
I could hear shooting going on in the field across the canal. It wouldnt be until we met up later that I would find out that 2 birds were taken, while 3 or 4 dozen more exited the field well ahead of the group.
We all met up again in the next field. I wasnt AS stressed because it was a bit shorter cover. When we got to the end of the section roosters began to erupt. I quickly put one down, but was not sure of how well. It was my worst shot angle, going away.
I heard Denise shot and she downed her first rooster for 2017.
I quickly ran to where I had seen the rooster fall. As I reached down to pick him up, I heard a member of the part yell my name. Apparently while I was bent over, a rooster fllew from my left to right, straight over my head! Bugger!
At that point the boys had their limit and Denise and I had 3 more to go for ours. SO we parted ways and Denise and I continued on.
Max is 7 years old now, out of shape, and seems to move with some pain. We decided to take a break on a stump in a ditch.
The next 30 minutes or so was about sharing snack with our dogs and just chatting about he day and trying to solve the worlds problems. It was good to just chill and enjoy the company.
The rest of the hunt was uneventful. As Denise would say, it was as if the boys took the birds with them.

The next day I met up with another friend for a duck/pheasant day. It was much colder and we had to break ice to get out there. Other guys had taken the spot that Denise and I had shared the day before. There were guys everywhere this day. We got the decoys set out. I proudly put out my brand new "Wiggly butt duck butt" that I just bought and we all settled in.
This hunt was with Max and his Daughter, Ivy. Ivy is a duck machine.
Eddy is way more experienced than I am, so I listen for his direction........well, as well as any woman does. :lol:
First flock came in and circled up a few times. By this time Eddy knew they were not going to land. I rose up out of my chair when he told me to shoot them. He and I both dumped a hen each. Ivy was quick out of the blind, followed by Max. Both dogs hauled in their birds.
The next flock we were able to knock down 2 more. Problem was, we could only find 1. We were on a field edge with timber behind up. We knew one had glided down back there, but neither dog or man could find it. We decided to leave it for later and continued to wait for more bird to come. At one point I got bored and began to search with Max. Not long after I am summond by Eddy. A large flock was on its way. I actually wish I could have video taped this. It was 100 plus strong and right over our heads! My heart was pounding! They circled one more time and as they did, 1 bird dropped down to shooting range and I absolulty LOST IT! :lol: :lol: I raised up to shoot only to be slapped back down when I heard Eddy yell, 'Hell No!!!" :oops: :oops: Dam it, I caused the birds to flare.....that was all we saw. After that I took Max and Ivy back to look for the bird we lost. we walked the tree line this time, where there was a lot of canary grass. In short order Ivy found the downed duck. It was a beautiful Drake that had 3 sprigs!! The rest of the time was spent watching them dump into the refuge and watching an over zealous young buck chase around 2 does.

Again, a quick wardrobe change and we were heading for the rooster fields. This time it was Ivy and Anka. Anka is very inexperienced. I didnt hunt her enough last year. SHe also hadnt been in this cover before. SO I giggled a little when I remembered that she got an 11 in search. But as the day went on, she spread her wings more and more.
This was the same thick field from the day before. I was hunting the side where they had seen all the birds. We had walked all the way down and were on our way back when the first rooster erupted and I dropped him with 1 shot. ANka was on him very quickly and brought in her first Iowa rooster. Our next bird came just as we finished the field. Again it was my worst shot angle, going away. I shot once and saw him rock, I shot again, but was pretty sure that shot was a long shot. I still watched him as he soared back from where we had just came. I was just about to turn to go on when I saw the bird go sky high and then drop. DAM!!!! I was instantly frustrated, who likes to lose a bird. I estimated that the bird had to of gone 4 to 500 yards. I tried to lined the fall with the trees in the back drop and began to take a line. I knew he had to be dead. I just wasnt confident that with this young dog, we would find him.
About the 300 yard mark, Anka got real birdy and started to root about in the grass. Soon after a rooster flushed and instinct had me dropping him right away. SHe had to search a bit for him, but the young lady located the bird and brought him to hand. :)
We continued on, Eddy joined us on the search for the 2nd rooster. We walked another 3 or 400 yards with nothing between 2 dogs. It was just to thick and narley. So, defeated, we headed back to the truck to switch dogs.

This time I took out Max and Baja. Immediately Baja goes on point, and then is bringing me a rooster she had caught. I knew something had to be wrong with it and looked it over pretty good. He had a busted up wing and leg. I smelled him and he didnt have any odor, she he became my limit.
Eddy's first opportunity came when a rooster flushed. He turned to shoot and realized he hadnt reloaded his gun! :lol: :lol:
The next and only 2 other birds came when we went into a small patch of dried up marsh. This time Eddy put the bead on him and tickled the bird. But it continued. As he was cursing the next one came up beside him, and he was so surprised that he didnt get a shot.

Now, today is a day of much needed rest. Eddy wanted me to go duck hunting, but I am just to tired. The dogs are tired. My house is a mess since I have been neglecting my chores for the last week.

Back at it this coming Monday, when Denise and I get back together.

Ok, the pictures that are stunning were taken by Denise. The rest, by me and my cellphone.

Denise's dog , Lucky
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Max with his roosters and Baja with her mallards
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Baja and I
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Baja watching
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Baja and her drake
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Baja hitching a ride while I pick up.
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Probably the best hunting partner in the world.
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Father daughter hunts are always fun. Max and Ivy
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Little chilly
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Anka and her birds
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Dad, Mom, and Daughter. Max, Baja and Ivy
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Eddy and I
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VC Max vom Schutzenknapp VJP 75, HZP190, VGP 303 PI 4H Nose, NA 112, UT 204 Invite 196
Baja vom Wamsbach VJP 64, HZP 169, NA 112
Anka vom Loofkamp VJP 66, HZP 139,HZP 172, NA 112
Krystal Creeks Untamed Spirit ( Abby) NA 93 Prize III UT 200 Prize II
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SMAbby
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Re: Another couple of outings with success and great picture

Postby Deuce » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:37 pm

Can't believe the gray in Max's muzzle! Makes me remember that I've been at this a bit longer than I'd like think some times.

Sweet hunts and great photos! Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Another couple of outings with success and great picture

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:48 pm

Great images! Keep them coming
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Re: Another couple of outings with success and great picture

Postby SMAbby » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:21 pm

Deuce wrote:Can't believe the gray in Max's muzzle! Makes me remember that I've been at this a bit longer than I'd like think some times.

Sweet hunts and great photos! Thanks for sharing!



Yeah, Max made me sad that day. He is going on 8 and he is slowing down. His gait looks different and when he is done, he collapses in his kennel. He is nothing ike the Max of the last 3 years. He has slowed noticeably.
I have a 12 year old SM and I feel like he wont live as long. I think when a dog like him is so hard on his body, they last a shorter amount of time...I dont know.:-(
VC Max vom Schutzenknapp VJP 75, HZP190, VGP 303 PI 4H Nose, NA 112, UT 204 Invite 196
Baja vom Wamsbach VJP 64, HZP 169, NA 112
Anka vom Loofkamp VJP 66, HZP 139,HZP 172, NA 112
Krystal Creeks Untamed Spirit ( Abby) NA 93 Prize III UT 200 Prize II
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Re: Another couple of outings with success and great picture

Postby RowdyGSP » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:32 pm

Great pictures and story. I see the affliction has begun. Duck sled, new decoys, proper camo attire... welcome to the $port of hunting duck$ and gee$e.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
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Re: Another couple of outings with success and great picture

Postby SMAbby » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:28 pm

RowdyGSP wrote:Great pictures and story. I see the affliction has begun. Duck sled, new decoys, proper camo attire... welcome to the $port of hunting duck$ and gee$e.


Im already feeling it...LOL
VC Max vom Schutzenknapp VJP 75, HZP190, VGP 303 PI 4H Nose, NA 112, UT 204 Invite 196
Baja vom Wamsbach VJP 64, HZP 169, NA 112
Anka vom Loofkamp VJP 66, HZP 139,HZP 172, NA 112
Krystal Creeks Untamed Spirit ( Abby) NA 93 Prize III UT 200 Prize II
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